Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unanimous Decision by FCC to use TV White Spaces

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held its open commission meeting in Washington DC, with the decision to authorize the usage of TV White Spaces, at the top of their agenda. After two years of discussions, the FCC unanimously voted to approve the use of this unlicensed spectrum, the unused TV broadcast channels made available by the transition from Analog to Digital TV last year.

Specific items were addressed during this meeting and decisions made included:

  • There was no spectrum sensing requirement mandated on the TV White Spaces Devices, though the Commission encouraged use and development of the technology as confirmed by Julius Knapp’s statement, "[This begins a] New Era of Innovation and Investment for Unlicensed Devices".
  • In every market,wireless microphones would be reserved as a protected entity. Commissioner Baker supported this decision stating "First rule of dynamic spectrum allocation; do no harm [to incumbent spectrum holders]".
  • Large wireless microphone users can register with the Commission for protected entity status in a White Spaces database for a specific time, place and duration as long as channels above 7 are in use.

Spectrum Bridge and our Partner’s accomplishments, regarding our White Spaces trial networks in Claudville, VA, Wilmington, NC, Plumas Sierra, CA and Logan, OH, were noted by the Commissioners as driving this order to this decision point today. It was also stated that the TV White Spaces technology can and will be used in other unlicensed as well as licensed bands and will be a road map for future technology as well as U.S. spectrum allocation policy.

Most noticeably left to the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) for further discussions were the awarding of the TV White Spaces Database Administrators and TV White Spaces usage regarding border restrictions with Canada and Mexico.

Chairman Genachowski summed up the discussions stating “TV White Spaces is about making the US more globally competitive." Spectrum Bridge’s next deployment utilizing its Spectrum Sharing technology will explore the global potential of TV White Spaces spectrum, enabling new technology and providing an alternative solution to meet the increasing worldwide need for broadband spectrum. To learn more about Spectrum Bridge’s past trial networks, or to stay up to date on future deployments, visit

Chris Duffus, Vice President of Corporate Development

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